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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about your health insurance, FAES has the answers!

Log into Trustmark® 

Why should I create an account with Trustmark®?
  • You can access your plan information
  • You can print out a temporary member I.D card and request a new card to be mailed to you
  • You can view your explanation of benefits (EOBs) every time you visit a provider
How do I register for a Trustmark® login?

Find a doctor

How do I find a doctor?

To find a AETNA provider with the lowest out-of-pocket costs, visit the AETNA Signature Administrators - Doc Find page.

Find lab services

What do I do if I need to access lab services (e.g. blood work, allergy tests, etc.)?

In order to reduce out-of-pocket costs, your insurance plan requires that you use a Quest Diagnostics facility for any lab services.  Find a Quest Diagnostics Facility near you.

What happens if I want to use another lab services provider?

Services performed at a facility other than Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp will be considered “out of network” and will require higher out-of-pocket costs. If  you are having labwork done at your physicians office and your physician is in-network then the lab work will be treated as in-network.

Find an urgent care facility

How do I know if I should go to a hospital Emergency Room or an urgent care facility?

About 17% of all emergency room (ER) visits in the U.S. could be treated at retail medical clinics or urgent care centers, potentially saving $4.4 billion a year in health care costs.  It’s important to know your options ahead of time so you can make the right decision when you need to. 

How can I find an urgent care facility near me?

Finding an in-network urgent care facility near you is easy: just visit the AETNA-Doc Find page 

Generic vs. brand-name drugs

What’s the difference between brand-name and generic drugs?

Generics work the same as brand-name drugs but cost much less.

How much can I save by switching to generic drugs?

On average, members can potentially save around $200-$360 per year by using generic drugs. Ask your doctor if a generic drug could work for you.

You asked...we listened!

Is health insurance required for all Postdoctoral IRTA/CRTA and VF trainees?

Yes, health insurance is required for all Postdoctoral IRTA/CRTA and VF trainees. The NIH will pay for low-option individual or family coverage available through the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES). If you are already insured on another policy, you will be allowed to remain on that policy if you provide evidence of coverage. If the policy is in your name, and you can demonstrate that you are the individual who makes the premium payments, you will be reimbursed by the amount the NIH would have paid for FAES coverage. (Source:

We will be having a baby soon, what do I need to do to add my new born to the health insurance plan?

Once the baby is born you have 30 days to add your baby to your insurance. You will need to email us two documents if you already have family coverage with us:

  1. Change Form - Fellows
  2. Proof of Birth (If you do not have a birth certificate yet, we can use discharge papers that indicates the babies name and date of birth. 
I am getting married, what do I need to do to add my spouse to my health insurance plan?

You will need to submit:

  1. New award forms from your institute showing family coverage (please make sure pages 1,2 and 3 are signed)
  2. Change Form - Fellows
  3. Proof of marriage
I just arrived to the NIH as a trainee, what do I need to do to enroll to health insurance?

All NIH trainees must have health insurance coverage. If you elect FAES health insurance, all required documents must be submitted to the insurance office within 30 days. The effective date of FAES health insurance is the same date as award period start date on page 1 of the FPS form.

Your IC will cover the cost of individual or family. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Provide FAES with NIH Fellowship Activation Forms obtained from your Administrative Officer (AO). The forms must be signed by your sponsor. FAES requires pages 1, 2 and 3 of the 6 pages of the NIH Fellowship Activation forms.
  2. You must also complete the FAES Election Form.
  3. Email, Fax, or deliver the completed NIH Fellowship Activation Form and completed FAES Election Form to FAES Insurance

Location: Building 10 (South Side,) Room 1N241
Secure Fax: 301- 480-3585

How much of the monthly premium do I have to pay?

Your institute will be paying the monthly premiums to FAES, this premium does NOT come out of your stipend.

I am being renewed here for another year, to make sure my health insurance plan doesn’t stop, what do I need to do?

Health insurance coverage is NOT automatically renewed. Fellowship Award forms are valid for 365 days or less. Please provide FAES with the NIH Fellowship Activation Forms obtained from your Administrative Officer (AO). The forms must be signed by your sponsor. FAES requires pages 1, 2 and 3 of the 6 pages of the NIH fellowship activation forms. Forms can be obtained from your Administrative Officer.

I am leaving the NIH, what are my options?

All Fellows must provide a Fellowship Termination Notification to FAES when leaving the NIH or transitioning to a full time employment position (FTE) with NIH. The form may be faxed to 301-480- 3585 or emailed to Once received, coverage will be terminated at 11:59 pm on the last day of pay status. For ex: if the last day of pay status for a fellow is 09-06-2018, then benefis will be terminate on 09-06-2018. Trustmark® will send follow-up information on how to continue health insurance coverage through COBRA.

Please note: If you are enrolled in a dental plan, you will be required to terminate that on your own. The FAES insurance department cannot cancel your dental plan on your behalf.

What is COBRA?

When any covered member loses health insurance coverage based on a termination of employment or the occurrence of other qualifying events, the member will be eligible to elect continuation of coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Once your termination of health insurance coverage is processed you will receive a COBRA packet in mail from Trustmark®. You will have 60 days to elect COBRA.  Once COBRA is elected your coverage is retroactive to the date you lose coverage. There will be no lapse in coverage. Please contact a FAES insurance representative for additional information on pricing regarding COBRA coverage.

Only my name is listed on the health insurance cards, do I need cards for each of my dependents?

Since you are the primary on the account, the cards will only indicate your name on the card.

What if I need to see a doctor before I get my insurance card?

A FAES Insurance representative will try to provide you with a temporary ID card within 5 business days of processing your application.

Additional questions and answers

If you didn’t find the answers to your questions here, the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) provides up-to-date information and resources for emergency care, prescription coverage and LabCorp facilities. If you have additional questions or need more information than you’ve found on this page contact an FAES insurance representative or visit our offices in Building 10 (South Side), Room 1N241 (near the Masur Auditorium):

Hours: 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM, Monday - Friday
Phone: 301.496.8063
Secure Fax: 301.480.3585

“I found my experience extremely helpful and can't think of anything that needs improvement.”

 – FAES Feedback Survey Respondent